tv MSNBC Live MSNBC November 28, 2019 7:00am-8:00am PST
and that wraps up this hour of msnbc live. happy thanksgiving once again. i'm chris jansing. word on the street they had to drag you in. you were waiting to see the astronaut snoopy. >> i saw the astronaut snoopy, a photograph. my wife was out there. it was good. >> awesome. >> happy thanksgiving to you. thank you, friend. >> happy thanksgiving to all of you out there. coming up this hour, president trump is spending this thanksgiving day at his mar-a-lago retreat and calling the impeachment hearings a hoax an signing two significant bills supporting hong kong's protesters. china is not happy about that. some of the 2020 candidates are hitting the trails this turkey day and one candidate continues to defend himself over comments made years ago. thank you for sharing your holiday morning with us. i'm ali velshi at our
headquarters in new york, tracking new developments in the impeachment inquiry and for members of the trump inner circle. first, new questions about the september phone call between ambassador gordon sondland and president trump at the white house has been -- they've been touting as evidence that the president wanted nothing from leaders in ukraine, and the growing legal problems for rudy giuliani, amplified by new reporting in the "washington post" and "new york times" taking a deeper dive into giuliani's business relationship with ukraine's previous regime. kelly o'donnell is covering the president from his florida resort where he is spending the holiday. happy thanksgiving to you. there's been a lot going on in the president's inner circle. don mcgahn, rudy giuliani, the president, the phone calls, the investigations, tell me what the mood is in the white house? >> well, good to be with you and happy thanksgiving holiday as well, canadian or not, happy thanksgiving.
we are here covering the president as he spends time in florida and as you're pointing out, the impeachment woes certainly came with the president. certainly issues that he is trying to grapple with. one of the questions has to do with gordon sondland, the ambassador, who the president has relied so heavily on as a defense, almost an alibi witness, if i can use that phrasing when it comes to his interactions about ukraine. sondland, a notable witness, captivating hours of testimony on capitol hill talked about the fact that he asked the president what is it you once from ukraine and the president supposedly said back to him, something like this, i want nothing. tell president zelensky to do the right thing. now what really stood out a couple of nights ago, as we were at the rally the president had in florida, his sort of welcome home rally, and he recounted that to the audience and there were about 20,000 people there and it was almost like a call in return in church, where the president was telling that
anecdote and the crowd was hollering it back "i want nothing." that has become not only an important defense for the president but a buzz phrase for his supporters trying to argue that president wanted ukraine to supposedly do the right thing on corruption and not this link with the bidens. all of the conflicting evidence. one of the things "the washington post" points out they have not been able to obtain information that supports a call record related to gordon sondland on september 9th speaking with the president through the official channels. the president has a cell phone, is that a possible explanation? we don't know. it does raise the question when was this conversation, is that a reflection of what the president said. certainly the president is leaning heavily on that to try to say that he did not have a condition on ukraine's conduct in order to have the military aid that so dominated this ukraine controversy. ali? >> also some reporting, however, that the president at that time of the phone call, already knew
that there was a whistleblower complaint and that it would be looking into whether or not he had done this in exchange for personal gains. that's a sort of a complicating factor. >> exactly right. is that -- yes. does that set up a plausible explanation that the president can then use because there's reporting that he was informed in august, so ten days or more prior, by white house lawyers that this whistleblower complaint alleging an abuse of his power was already working through the system. so then once knowing that, was he saying, i want nothing, as a defense. that's all of what democratic lawmakers and republican lawmakers have to wade through and fair it out and how the public can assess what they think really happened. it getsically cat complicated b timeline becomes critical. >> kelly o'donnell in west palm beach, florida. >> rudy giuliani isn't the only person in president trump's orbit dealing with legal issues.
an appeals court put a ruling that don mcgahn must dpli with a congressional subpoena giving them time to decide whether the federal government is entitled to more time to appeal. the trump legal team has been losing these battles but their strategy might be a winner in the long run. "new york times" washington correspondent charlie savage, writes like a football team up late in the game, mr. trump's legal team looking to run out the clock. charlie joins me now. charlie, you've studied this a lot and written a lot about this. the president is attempting to exert certain elements of executive privilege, executive status, if you will, in the law that sort of pushed the envelope. other presidents have done this, too, they've often done it with the goal of expanding presidential authority. in the case of donald trump, he's doing it, i think, to get the courts to have to think about it and run out the clock? >> well, of course, we don't
know what's inside his head. you can never say i know your motive is this. trump says, he said it on twitter a few days ago, he would be perfectly happy to let all the current and former aides tell congress what they know and he's just blocking them from testifying because he wants to strengthen the institution of the presidency for his successors. a future president should not have their aides called to testify so he can't let don mcgahn or mick mulvaney or any of these other people testify, even though what they would say would surely exonerate him, is what he wants to put out. but he is losing in court and he is setting up a situation in which it is likely in the long term, this ambiguous situation of whether top aides to presidents can be called to testify about their official duties may be resolved against the president, which would take away this ambiguity which allowed other presidents, some freedom to operate, which is a risky thing to do if your interest is the long-term health
of the presidency. but it has a distinct short-term advantage. all these theorys that keep losing take a long time to lose. a third of a year was burned up waiting for the judge in the mcgahn case to say wait a minute, these theorys are fiction. that's just the first stage of that case. it's been held, it's going to go up to the appeals court and up to the supreme court and in the meantime mcgahn is not testifying it has the advantage of preventing new information from coming out right now during the impeachment window or before the 2020 election. even though it carries these long-term risks to the presidency. >> charlie, there are cups kwengsz to this for republicans in congress, many who including mick mulvaney, remembers the freedom caucus and the tea party before them, who really felt that prior presidents, including barack obama were eroding congressional authority in favor of executive authority. there are consequences beyond protecting donald trump to going
along with these arguments in court or going long with these defenses that the president puts forward that could make future presidents more powerful than members of congress or the american people or the constitution intended for them to be. >> well, everyone is a hypocrite in washington when it comes to executive power. when their team is in the white house they're all for it. when their team has congress but is out of the white house, they're sus spipicious of it. people's opinions flip depending on whether their faction could be aided or hurt by a stronger view of presidential power. this contributes to what i like to call the one-way ratchet effect of executive power, even though people complain when their party doesn't have the white house, each president builds on the what the president before him or some day her has done, as people push things out to new limits and unprecedented areas, but then the next president takes that as a baseline and pushes it out even further. executive power in effect is
much easier to expand than to roll back again and situational short-term helps me now so i will be quiet or endorse these sometimes idiosyncratic theories will have long-term consequences when the other team has the presidency. obviously democrats get to be president, too, and conservatives now for a strong presidency may come to regret that when a liberal is using executive power to achieve little bit bra liberal ends. >> charlie is a "washington times" new york koernts. contributor joys vance, a former u.s. attorney, familiar with some of these details. joyce, there are two parts as charlies h charlie has been illustrating. he makes public claims if they were to testify they would exonerate him, but the second part, the executive branch is making cases in court, supported
by the attorney general of the united states, bill barr, that do seem counter to what the constitution intended the presidency to have the power to do and, in fact, these efforts are being rebuffed by the courts? >> right. well let's dismiss the first part of that just right off the bat. we know if these witnesses were favorable to donald trump, if they had anything exculpatory to say, we would have already heard them testify. we know that that's not what trump is doing here. and i think charlie is dead on the money when he says everyone is a hypocrite when it comes to expansive executive power so long as they're the one holding the presidency. what we see is the sort of gradual drip, drip, drip. if there's one lining to this president, it's the inevitable recalibration of the balance of power among the three parties that will have to come after this presidency. it has really exposed this slow trend towards more expansive
power, much of that is now being litty gated in the courts but i expect we'll have a serious national conversation about restoring the balance between the three branches of government at the end of the trump era. >> i want to switch gears to rudy giuliani. it has been a remarkably interesting week in the back and forth between rudy giuliani and the president. we know that there are investigations by the new york d.a. and others into rudy giuliani's associates. giuliani went on fox news the other day, speaking with ed henry, and said that in case somebody wants to throw me under the bus, i'm paraphrasing, i have insurance. those are the words he used. i have insurance. then the president complimented him and said he was a great guy but really wasn't doing the president's bidding in ukraine and rudy giuliani apparently called the president kind of joking about the whole insurance thing. what do you make? i imagine you as a prosecutor have heard this talk and banter and language before. what does it mean when rudy giuliani and the president are talking this way?
>> you know, this really isn't how lawyers talk with their clients. it's so violative of the lawyer's ethical obligation to his client on the one hand, but one can't help and look at this and recall all of the times that donald trump wanted his roy cohen, his lawyer in the justice department who would be his wing man and with rudy giuliani it looks like he has gotten his own version of roy cohen, somebody who not only represents him but doesn't hesitate to push and fight back. watching this relationship play out is going to be a big part of the circus for the next month. if giuliani really does have the goods to dish on the president, and if this southern district of new york prosecution comes to fruition, it's going to be an interesting time. >> and when you -- when we get the trickles of information, they fall into two buckets, part is clearly impeachment stuff we're dealing with and part of the process around the president that involves rudy giuliani.
his name came up in the testimony where people were talking about him running a separate operation. rudy giuliani says there are reports he had two potential deals worth half a million dollars with the government of ukraine and said he turned those down, but it seemed like he might have been working a side hustle there. what do you make of all of that? the president would like you to think that rudy giuliani was doing rudy giuliani's business in ukraine. rudy giuliani seemed to go out of his way to say he was doing state department and the president's business in ukraine. and the president is on a record as having said to the president of ukraine, could you talk to rudy giuliani, please. >> you know, rudy giuliani, i think to the extent that he's telling the president not to go after him because he's kept the goods on the president, it probably comes down to this point about giuliani's authority and whether he was acting in essence as the president's agent
in ukraine, no matter what kinds of lines of side business he was conducting. it looks like the evidence that democrats have put on the table so far is pretty compelling. peop people acted as though rudy giuliani was the nan charge for the president. the president told the president of ukraine not just once but repeatedly in their july 25th phone call, he needed to talk to rudy. we know the president does this, when people get in trouble, he throws them under the bus and distances himself. it will be difficult for him to do that here. >> in this case, we have both on tv talking about each other bragging about how much they talk to each other, this one stretches the mind a little bit. happy thanksgiving. good to see you as always and thanks for all you do for us. >> happy thanksgiving. >> joyce vance in birmingham, alabama. president trump accused the fbi of spying on his campaign. a highly anticipated new report may undermine that claim.
the report details have a draft of that report we'll have that ahead. plus president trump signs legislation in support of hong kong protesters. is this going to affect trade negotiations with china? i'm your 70lb st. bernard puppy, and my lack of impulse control, is about to become your problem. ahh no, come on. i saw you eating poop earlier. hey! my focus is on the road, and that's saving me cash with drivewise. who's the dummy now? whoof! whoof!
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after the markets closed after coming under pressure from lawmakers from both parties. joining me is retired four star admiral james, a former nato supreme allied commander and chief international diplomacy analyst. his book "sailing true north ten admirals and the voyage of character" happy thanksgiving. >> happy thanksgiving. let's all give thanks for the men and women of the armed forces who are deployed today, ali. >> we should. we do not know or remember some of the work that they're doing and as we've learned many are doing work we won't know about. this hong kong, signing this hong kong bill, should have been a lay-up for the president. it was bipartisan. it seems pretty obvious. but it wasn't really. the president had resisted. he had resisted until this week speaking in support of the protesters who are just protesting for the rights they believe they have. they're not looking for new rights in hong kong. this is a difficult one for the president. he, i think, thinks that
supporting hong kong protesters works against his attempts to get a deal with the chinese? >> and in that he is probably correct. on the other hand, there are bigger equities here even than getting a deal with the chinese. over time those economic imperatives are going to drive us toward i believe a mutually beneficial trade agreement. that doesn't mean we can give up what we stand for as a nation, which at the end of the day, is the right to civil protests, human rights, and engagement globally in support of those kinds of activities. that's why both houses of congress voted overwhelmingly to support this act and i think the president is making a mistake by dragging his feet on this. lastly, i'll say, he has, as he often does with authoritarian figures around the world, what he perceives as kind of a personal relationship with
president xi of china. >> he does. >> i think he doesn't want to rock that particular boat as he often feels about vladimir putin or recep erdogan or any other authoritarian figure. you're right, it should have been a lay-up. it looked like a pretty hard shot for the president. thankfully, he landed the ball in the hoop. >> let me ask you, he said something in a statement, he said i signed these bills out of respect for president xi and the people of hong kong. they are being enacted in the hope that leaders and representatives of china and hong kong will be able to amicably settle their differences leading to long-term peace and prosperity for all. we saw municipal elections in hong kong in which pro-democracy, anti-beijing people overwhelmingly won. it sort of doesn't matter because it's administrative work that those people will be doing, but it's a sign of sentiment. the question is this, we all knew when china took over hong kong from the british in 50 years china would do what it wanted to with hong kong.
we're 25 years away from that, but china is imposing its will on hong kong. is that not the inevitable outcome? >> i think it is, but let's face the fact that there's 25 more years to go. as you just alluded to. ali, sometimes big doors swing on small hinges. it will be interesting over the next 25 years to see whether hong kong and its activities and its way of life, you know, one nation, two systems, whether that influences events in china. to be determined. i'll close by saying, important one to watch here as not only how hong kong comes out, but the big play is taiwan. so far taiwan still operates as an independent entity. that's a big reason china has not rolled the military forces into hong kong. they still want to reel in taiwan over time. so there are big equities at play here. let's give it some time to see
how it comes out. u.s. is on the side of the angels supporting these protesters to the degree that we have. >> admiral, last night, former navy secretary richard spencer wrote an op-ed describing his firing overs the handling of navy s.e.a.l. eddie gallagher and wrote, this was a shocking and unprecedented intervention in a low-level review and it was also a reminder that the president has very little understanding of what it means to be in the military, to fight ethically or to be governed by a uniformed set of rules and practices. i want to get your reaction to this, because there are three things at play -- there's eddie gallagher and his team that did things that at best broke navy policy, the president who intervened in this in a way some people think is inappropriate, some think is fine, richard spencer who didn't think the president did the right thing and went around his immediate supervisor to try cut deal with the white house. which also has some people thinking he did the wrong thing. give me your view on this? >> yeah.
this is a big basket of issues. i'm going to break it into two, which are separate in many ways. one is, the secretary spencer, did he go around secretary esper, who is the current secretary of defense, and try to find a kind of a win/win outcome with with the white house. it's actually quite unclear who talked to whom beforehand and so on. it's a typical upper-level of the trump administration, a lot of confusion, hard to parse, a tale of two secretaries. let's put that aside. what really matters here, ali, is the fact that president trump is intervene in the military justice system to create pardons not only for the s.e.a.l.s. but military army troops, green berets, who are convicted or accused of similar kinds of crimes. so i think secretary spencer is in the right place here to call out the president.
the president in my view should not be diving into that military chain of command over issues this momentous. score one for secretary spencer with that op-ed. >> admiral, always good to see you. thank you for your continued support of us here at msnbc. happy thanksgiving to you. admiral james. >> same to you and the team, ali. as some of the 2020 candidates hit the trail this thanksgiving day, pete buttigieg is in damage control mode. his fight to win over the trust of a key group of voters he will need to win the nomination. to n brain freeze! no, it's my teeth. your teeth hurt? just sensitivity. i should see my dentist. my teeth have been feeling really sensitive lately. well 80% of sensitivity starts at the gum line, so treat sensitivity at the source. new crest gum and sensitivity starts treating sensitivity immediately, at the gum line, for relief within days and wraps your teeth in sensitivity protection. ohh your teeth? no, it's brain freeze! new gum and sensitivity from crest.
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just because it's a holiday does not mean the 2020 candidates take a break. a number of them are crisscrossing the country to rally voters in states critical to winning the nomination. for mayor pete buttigieg he's rising in national polls. the concern, he continues to struggle to connect with black voters. let me bring in michael star hopkins served on the presidential campaigns of barack obama and hillary clinton and eugene scott, political reporter for the "washington post's" "the fix." thank you for being here. happy thanksgiving to both of you. michael star, you know, we've done a lot of analysis of what the issues are with pete buttigieg and the
african-american community. it's coming to stark relief this week. the root wrote an article about him, very critical, a poll puts him at 4% among african-americans, an proechlts for him since he got into the race. what is the issue with pete buttigieg and african-american voters? >> well, it looks like mayor pete's uncomfortable talking to african-american voters and as mayor pete is learning, the african-american vote is the base of the democratic party and the path for the nomination goes straight through the african-american vote. if you want to win the nomination and want to win the general election you need to be able to talk to black voters and that's something he's been unable to do that so far. >> when you say that what do you mean? i remember he was in harlem, meeting with people of silvia's, right of passage, reverend al told me he thought the interaction seemed to be fine and probably bodes well for him. what's gone wrong for him?
>> i think he's genuine in his desire to want to reach out to the african-american community, but it's more than going to silvia's or black churches on sunday. you have to have a history of working within the african-american community and side by side and a lot of his past history in south bend has been complicated and shown he's had problems working with an african-american community. that's something he has to overcome. >> pete buttigieg is doing well nationally. he's polling very well in early states, iowa and new hampshire. he's surged quite a bit. he's got no movement of note in south carolina, where a large part of the voting population there in the primary is going to be african-american voters. what happens if he stalls there? here's the south carolina polling. he's polling at less than 1% there. >> if he stalls there the momentum we've seen buttigieg display could slow down. it's not just south carolina he has to worry about. he has to worry about arizona and nevada and north carolina.
the purple states that many democrats are paying lots of ait engs to -- attention to to determine how they will do in 2020. they have large personnecentage not only black voters but latino voters as well. pete buttigieg got attention when he decided to run to be the chair of the democratic national committee, and he experienced some success and decided later on to launch his presidential campaign, but it appears he did that before really becoming proficient on issues that matter to both black and latino voters. the reason that matters is because of their influence in the democratic primary and so for -- in many ways, one of the challenges he's having this has been a learning experience for him. he's come to the table not really whistleblower being well informed about the issues that matter most and using the campaign in some ways to become educated. when you talk to black and latino voters on the ground this is not the time to be learning things. they these someone who is going to replace the president that
most consider the most racist in their lifetime. they need him replaced with someone very informed on the issues that matter the most to him. >> ask my control room to put up black voter support nationwide. i want to ask you about this. buttigieg nationwide, is doing a bit better. it's a different poll. there we go. black voters, 4% for buttigieg. look at joe biden. 43%. south carolina alone, it's 44%. eugene and i had this conversation yesterday. i want to put it to you, michael, what's the special sauce that joe biden has with african-american sloetsers? >> he's a known commodity being the vice president for the first african-american president helps but he seems comfortable around black people and that's important. he knows how to talk to the african-american community and you know, that whole uncle joe persona has resonated. you're starting to see a decrease in his numbers with african-americans as some of the
other candidates are figuring out how to navigate that lane and over time, it will be interesting to see how he actually handles south carolina and states moving forward. >> thanks to both of you for joining us. michael star hopkins and eugene scott. happy thanksgiving to both of you. >> same. >> president trump says the fbi spied on his 2016 campaign but according to two newspapers a draft report apparently shoots down that claim. we have the new developments after this. lopments after this great riches will find you when liberty mutual customizes your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. wow. thanks, zoltar. how can i ever repay you? maybe you could free zoltar? thanks, lady. taxi! only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ o♪ ozempic®! ♪ oh! oh! (announcer) people with type 2 diabetes are excited about the potential of once-weekly ozempic®.
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i think spying on a political campaign is a big deal. >> you're not suggesting, though, that spying occurred? >> i don't -- well, i guess you could -- i think there's a spying did occur, yes, i think spying did occur. >> attorney general william barr testifying in front of congress in april he believed the trump campaign was spied on, it's a major point of president trump and his allies. the "new york times" reports that justice department inspector general has found no evidence that the fbi attempted to place undercover agents or informants inside donald trump's campaign in 2016 according to people familiar with the draft of the report. joining me now, brendon buck, chief communications adviser for former speaker paul ryan and served as former press secretary for john boehner. harry litman joins me as well, former deputy assistant general
during the clinton administration. it's your people who are doing this. this thing is being spread around republican circles that this report is going to come out and show that the fbi, for political reasons, was spying on the trump campaign. we don't know. we have not seen this report. nbc has not looked at it. if that reporting turns out to be true this might have been one of the first things donald trump did as president, start to spread this piece of information. >> yeah. it goes back to the president's belief that the conversation about russia somehow undermines or delegitimizes his election. he used to talk about this all the time. when i was working on the hill he would always talk to us about how great his victory was and the russia conversation undermined that. certainly there are republicans who went along with this theory and a lot of republicans who didn't. my former boss said there was no spying. i think this is a matter of sim mat ticks. there were informants having
conversations with the people in the trump campaign, there was a fisa application to wire tap carter page. those are some of the things people are talking about in this. we should be clear, there was no illicit spying. there was a real effort by russians to infiltrate our election and the fbi did the right thing by looking into it. >> harry, let's go further with that as brendan said. carter page was being investigated. there were things happening inside the trump campaign that would have been interesting to the fbi. it seems, again, we've not seen this report, but seems the argument is that there were legitimate reasons for investigating certain individuals within the campaign which is different. it may be a small distinction to some but a very important distinction than the fbi was spying on the trump campaign. >> brendan is 100% right. it's not a small distinction, it's not it's sim mat tick but the different between j. edgar hoover spying, what the attorney
general was trying to imply, and predicated 100% lawful spying, than not spying. surveillance that not only was lawful, but was necessary for the reasons brendan says. you can't ignore the allegations of russian interference and they shouldn't have. they did it lawfully. it turns out the fbi does things lawfully. the sort of sinister suggestions were always far fetched but that's what trump at least and i think barr tried to insinuate. >> the inspector general, michael horowitz, found the fbi was quote careless and unprofessional in pursuing the wiretap against carter page. they referred to the findings for potential criminal charges about a document that was altered in 2017 by an attorney. so the fbi is not entirely off the hook in this. >> i mean they're not entirely off the hook but there's a world of difference between actually being the deep state actors out
to get trump and normal fbi bureaucratic misstep. here you're right, it looks like horowitz will find it was corrected. that's really small. if the republicans try to gen that up in some grandeur argument against a conspiracy against donald trump i think it won't hunt and part of a broader effort to do anything other than confront the merits of a very strong case. >> brendan, we're three years into this allegation, three years after the election. do you think these things matter to people who have decided whatever they've decided? >> i think it matters as a political matter. i think the president uses these types of theories or conspiracy theories or whatever it may be to play the victim and does it very well and his whole ethos is that he's fighting for you while washington and the deep state is fighting against him. and this -- i don't expect him to stop talking about these things whether this or the next thing he comes up with, he will
try to present himself as an outsider, and yeah, there are people out there who bought into that. he has a deep base of support and they believes when he talks about these things they're out to get him and those voters. >> when with it comes to the few issues we're facing right now, brendan, the holding up of aid to an ally, like ukraine for potential political gain, there was a time when republicans, when you worked for republicans, that that would have been a nonstarter for them. that would have been at the limit of things. when it comes to the extension of executive authority this president and administration is undertaking, when barack obama and george w. bush, there was a lot of opposition from rank and file republicans. when it comes to the idea that congressional aid was held up for a national security reason, that would have -- a guy like mick mulvaney had he been in congress would have been troubled by that. where are those republicans? >> yeah. unfortunately i think you see it no matter who's in charge the
opposite party is going to -- there's hypocrisy, no doubt about it. whether it's ukraine, i think you've seen republicans speak out on the president when it relates to matters of national security. what you're seeing here is largely tribal politics has overtaken everything. the president has swallowed up the republican party, there is no other wing of the party, and base voters are so fired up, these republican members in the house, they go home, and they hear from their constituents and what they hear is are you sticking by the president. they tonight want to hear any of the other facts or hear about the details of any of this. so that's what you see when members come back to washington. the president has such a stranglehold over republican voters there's nowhere else for members to go. i don't think they agree with what the president is doing, but they act in their own political self-interests and that's what you're seeing. >> thank you for joining me today. have yourself an excellent thanksgiving. brendan buck and harry litman. >> same to you. california's wildfires have caused billions of dollars in damage, but what is responsible
for the fires? q. the state, the power company? climate. we'll take a look. climate. we'll take a look. ♪ work so hard ♪ give it everything you got ♪ strength of a lioness ♪ tough as a knot ♪ rocking the stage ♪ and we never gonna stop ♪ all strength, no sweat. ♪ just in case you forgot ♪ all strength. ♪ no sweat secret. all strength. no sweat. i'm part of a community of problem solvers. we make ideas grow. from an everyday solution... to one that can take on a bigger challenge. from packaging tape... to tape that can bond materials to buildings... and planes. one idea can unlock a breadth of solutions. at 3m, we are solving problems that improve lives.
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acres near santa barbara and forced people from their homes. cal perry went to california to see how climate change has affected wildfires and how it might become the new normal. >> reporter: 81-year-old dr. glen benjamin appears to be in constant conflict with california's most historic fires. two years ago. >> we're absolutely square in the middle of the tubbs fire. >> reporter: last year. >> the mendocino complex fire. >> reporter: this year. >> it was my turn to get caught. i lost this and my main ranch. >> time to go. >> reporter: in california, fire season is no longer just a season, it's constant. the state's deadliest fire, as well as the most expensive and largest fire, both occurred last year. records don't last long here. this years winds inside the kincade fire clocked in at more than 90 miles per hour. amy and marshall have been
battling these fires for more than two decades. as the climate changes, so, too, do the fires. >> we're seeing hundred thousand acre fires multiple times a year sometimes. it's much different from when i started 20 something years ago. >> what does the power shutting off do to affect your ability to fight the fires? >> at the home level it affects electric gates, garage doors, things people need power for. >> pg&e is expected to cut power to more than 800,000 customers. >> we don't have power, folks in rural areas don't have water. >> i can't help but think maybe it's an overreaction. >> pg&e says warm and windy conditions create higher risks of its equipment sparking a fire. >> that's frustrating and i just think there's got to be a better way. >> pg&e as we know it cannot persist and continue. and conti. >> reporter: the search for culpability is a visceral one inside this state. many including the governor are quick to blame the utility company that runs power to the
majority of the state, pacific gas and electric. >> this is not from my perspective a change story as much a z a story about agreed and mismanagement over the course of decades. >> while recent investigations have found the company's equipment likely responsible for starting nearly 2,000 fires in the last five years, the search for responsibility has at times turned ugly. >> things are being thrown at folks. people's lives have been threatened. >> reporter: more and more people across the state are living in wild areas that are also high-risk fire zones, called the wild land urban interface. >> in 2012 ability 15% of our service area which is 70,000 square miles was considered extreme or elevated fire threat. this year, 2019, more than 50% of our service area is in the elevated or extreme wildfire threat. >> reporter: after the deadly fires in 2018, the company filed for bankruptcy, citing debt in excess of $50 billion, making
the challenge of improving fire safety in a state battling climate change that much more daunting. >> it's not all pg&e's fault. state of california should have been cleaning this out a long time ago instead of waiting until hell breaks loose and then blame it on pg&e. >> that was cal perry reporting for us. still ahead, hoping to get in a little holiday shopping this thanksgiving? we're live with the best tips and tricks to get the best deals right after this. for every dollar you spend at a small business, an average of 67 cents stays local. shop small and watch it add up. small business saturday by american express is november 30th. if you have moderate to thsevere rheumatoid arthritis, month after month, the clock is ticking on irreversible joint damage. ongoing pain and stiffness are signs of joint erosion. humira can help stop the clock. prescribed for 15 years,
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holiday shopping is kicking into high gear with the national retail federation reporting more than 165 million people plan to shop between today and cyber monday. some major retailers are staying open today for bargain hunters including target, best buy, macy's and kohl's. early black friday deals are already available online. joining me nbc news correspondent jo ling kent from a walmart in maple grove. how did you end up in a cold, snowy place. >> reporter: i got lucky. minnesota is my home state. my family is here. so we had to come to minnesota and show how hearty we really are standing outside a walmart which, by the way, is open 24 hours. part of that is because holiday shoppers, more than half of us have already started our holiday shopping.
as you know, there's six fewer days between thanksgiving and christmas this year. so all of those deals, a lot of them started at the beginning of november. but the very best deals on electronics, smart watches, televisions, all that kind of stuff, that's going to be kicking off in many cases later tonight and into tomorrow. that's where you're going to see a lot of the spending start happening. in fact, according to the national retail federation, the average amount that each person will spend this holiday season is north of $1,000. people are feeling pretty good about the economy, but if you look at the overall retail situation, there's a lot of competition out there and a lot of store closures as we've been covering the entire year. stores like walmart, best buy, target, amazon, of course, tend to do very well in this season. if you're looking for a good deal, i would encourage, if it's cold where you are, stay inside. most of the deals -- for example, at best buy, i did an exclusive interview with the
ceo. she told me all the deals will be the same on your phone, on your laptop and in store. >> this is an important point. you and i are business journalists. for all those years that amazon was eating into the bricks and mortar retailers, this year it is so obvious and visible that walmart is playing that game. walmart seems to be matching a lot of amazon's offers and they're trying to make it seamless. they want people who use amazon on their phone to be thinking about using walmart on their phone. >> reporter: yeah, and the strategy walmart is deploying as well as best buy and target is all about fast shipping. in some cases you get next day delivery free. in the case of best buy, two-day shipping included with no minimum at walmart and target in some cases. you this logistics play that took a long time for retailers to catch up to amazon. they're now able to deploy a lot of that. amazon, to be fair, is rolling out a ton of black friday deals
by the minute. they're going to try to surprise customers with good deals. of course, if you shop at best buy, walmart or target, you should check for a price adjustment. if you end up paying more, you kauch go back to the store and say, hey, i found it somewhere else. they'll save you the money. >> jo ling kent for us in maple grove, minnesota. that brings this hour to an end for me. thank you for watching. allison morris, as i just bragged about, picked up our coverage. >> the only reason i came to work today is to sit onset with ali velshi. wonderful to see you. good morning everyone. happy thanksgiving. i'm allison morris at msnbc headquarters in new york. new reports that rudy giuliani pursued his own business in ukraine while pushing the president's agenda there. what it means for president trump and the impeachment inquiry. we're on the trail in iowa with senators kamala harris and amy klobuchar. we'll deal into the latest
polling in that state. we'll also look at the new troubles mayor pete buttigieg is facing as he tries to relate to african-americans by pointing out that he's gay. we're celebrating the holiday in new york with the annual macy's thanksgiving day parade just outside our studios. we'll be right in the middle of all the action. we begin with new developments in the impeachment inquiry into president trump. new reports suggest his personal attorney rudy giuliani pursued business dealings in ukraine. documents reviewed by the "wall street journal," "the washington post" and "the new york times" all paint a picture of how giuliani allegedly teamed up with the ukrainian government officials to find politically damaging information. the man often deemed america's mayor tweeting this in response to the reports saying in part, quote, i did not pursue a business opportunity in ukraine. i could have helped them recover $7 billion in stolen money but i